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The Buying and Selling of Names of Tourists in Bali

Hotel and Villa Guests in Bali Being Targeted by International Scam to Sell Time Share Properties.

(12/1/2009) Beritabali.com reports a new modus operandi being employed in the annoyance and attempts to sell time-share deals to Bali visitors. The report also suggests that immigration officials at Bali's airport may be involved in this latest incident of "organized crime."

Police are now investigating the criminality following a report made by the Bali Villa Association (BVA) in a meeting with Bali's Chief of Police General Sutisna.

The alleged crime involves mysterious telephone calls made to hotels in which the caller knows the name of the hotel guest. Once connected to the guest, the mystery caller offers prizes and other enticements as a means to offer questionable property deals. "The callers to the hotel ask to be connected to the guest. What's strange, they know both the name of the guest and his hotel," said Kahar Salamun, General Manager, Hotel All Seasons in Kuta.

Kahar suspects that the callers has a well-developed plan of criminality involving numerous individuals in the act. When he investigated these calls in the past, he uncovered indications that the identity of his guests were being bought and sold with the involvement of airport and immigration officials. Kahar said: "there's the buying and selling of names at a cost of Rp. 50,000 (US$5) per name. The sale must include the complete identity of the guest, their country of origin, room number and planned length of time for their stay."

Kahar explained that the practice has been underway for some time and efforts to catch the criminals have been difficult due to the involvement of numerous parties in the scheme, including foreigners. The veteran hotelier believe the victims are tracked by the criminals from the moment they arrive at Bali's airport.

When the guest is from Japan the mysterious called is a Japanese national. Similarly, if the guest is Dutch, the caller will be from The Netherlands. "If the guest is Indonesia, the caller will be an Indonesian," said Kahar.

General Sutisna told the press that the reports from the BVA and hotels will form the basis of an investigation from his department as it appears to be a new method of crime involving an international crime network. The Chief has ordered the Head of his intelligence division to investigate the case further.